The Last Word: Dominique Hendry – Bright Futures North East
November 10, 2023
Closing this month’s issue of North East Times Magazine, Dominique Hendry, project manager at South Shields-based Bright Futures North East, talks about the impact of the charity’s decade-long commitment to helping women into employment, the evolving nature of its services to keep pace with the commercial world and the significance of recent financial backing from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund.
Bright Futures North East was established more than a decade ago to help young women into employment. How do you reflect on that period and the charity’s progress therein?
We’re an award-winning charity supporting young women up to the age of 25, helping them tackle some of life’s biggest challenges, such as alcohol misuse, domestic abuse, unemployment, poor mental health and wellbeing, sexual abuse and exploitation.
The charity supports, educates, empowers and influences, and gives young women a brighter future.
One of the most tangible reflections of our progress is the numerous success stories and positive outcomes experienced by the young women who have benefited from our various projects, particularly our employment programme.
Through personalised support, skills development and empowerment initiatives, we have supported more than 52,000 young women through our various programmes, and enabled many individuals to secure meaningful employment and embark on fulfilling careers.
The world of work is constantly shifting, with employers demanding fresh skills to meet technological and cultural change. How does the charity stay in step with such evolving trends to ensure those seeking employment continue to meet companies’ needs?
Over the years, we have expanded our range of programmes and services to cater for the evolving needs of young women seeking employment.
Initially focusing on providing career guidance and support, we have broadened our scope to include various initiatives, such as skills training, mentoring programmes and networking opportunities that improve mental health and reduce loneliness and isolation.
By offering a comprehensive range of services, we can address multiple barriers faced by young women on their journey towards employment.
Additionally, we have devised resources to help individuals identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
Through personalised guidance and support, individuals can make informed decisions about their career paths and acquire the skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields.
The charity’s employability programme – which helps young women between 15 and 25 develop skills, confidence and knowledge – was recently backed by a grant worth nearly £3000 from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund. How will the cash support the endeavour’s growth, and what does it mean to receive such backing?
It will contribute to the growth and expansion of the current programme, enabling us to reach a larger number of young women and have a more substantial impact on their lives.
It will also allow the charity to enhance its resources and infrastructure.
With additional funding, the organisation can invest in updated technology, equipment and materials necessary for delivering effective training and development sessions.
Furthermore, receiving such backing from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund signifies recognition and validation of the charity’s work, demonstrating how its efforts in empowering young women through employability initiatives are valued by external stakeholders.